While Guyana has made some progress in addressing societal issues, much more needs to be done in key areas such as domestic violence and legalising same-sex relations.This is according to British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn who was at the time speaking at a reception at his residence in honour of the 92nd birth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II.According to the UK diplomat, even with progress being made in some areas, challenges still remain.“Domestic abuse and child abuse is still a problem. Over my three years here, I have heard much talk about it but yet it still happens and that should be a shamePresident David Granger joins British High Commissioner Greg Quinn and his wife to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 92nd birth anniversary on Thursday evening, as Minister of State Joseph Harmon and Director General at the Foreign Affairs Ministry Audrey Waddell look onon all of us – especially those who know this happens, who see it happen and who do nothing to help the victims. There can be no impunity from prosecutions if a crime has been committed, no one is above the law… And I was happy to see the first Pride parade in Guyana on June 2. I encourage all to work towards the decriminalisation of same sex relationships. Everyone has rights and it is time that the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) community received the rights they deserved,” Quinn posited.He further stated that Guyana’s positive improvement on the World Press Freedom Index this year, noting that journalists’ rights cannot be taken for granted and they should be allowed to operate free from restrictive legislations.Quinn also spoke of the need for a collaborative effort to curb the “dangers that exist in the modern world”, referring to the recent piracy attack off the coast of Suriname.On this note, the British High Commissioner reflected on areas in which the UK has helped to develop in Guyana, particularly with regards to Security Sector Reform (SSR).“The past year has also seen the bedding in of significant UK support to Security Sector Reform… [But] the work being done under SSR is only part of a broader relationship we have combating serious organised crime through a wide range of assistance… There is also over £61 million of DFID (Department for International Development) expenditure committed to Guyana over the next five years. This is focused on developing infrastructure and improving health facilities,” Quinn detailed.Additionally, he noted that the UK is working with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to pave the road from Linden to Mabura Hill and construct a bridge at the Kurupukari crossing. This project falls under the multimillion-dollar UK Caribbean Infrastructure Fund (UKCIF), from which Guyana is among nine countries in the Region to benefit.Against this background, President Granger lauded the relations between Guyana and the UK, saying that it will further be strengthened over the coming years as they collaborate in various areas.“The UK, through the Department of International Development, has provided assistance to Guyana in the fields of agriculture, aquaculture, disaster-relief, education, economic competitiveness, governance, law enforcement, trade facilitation, water supply, judicial service reform, public sector reform and security sector reform,”According to the Head of State, as Her Majesty steps down as Head of the Commonwealth, she leaves behind an excellent environmental legacy in the form of the ‘Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy’ – a network of forests conservation projects under which Guyana has dedicated the Kanashen Protected Area, located in the Rupununi, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), spanning almost 7000 square kilometers.Britain’s ties to Guyana were initiated in the Convention of London by which the Sovereign Principality of the United Netherlands formally ceded the three colonies, Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice, to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1814 in the reign of King George III. The colonial ties were severed 52 years later when Guyana became independent under Queen Elisabeth in 1966 but cordial relations continued.